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Old 08-30-2010, 04:29 PM  
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4x4/Kaner Trail, Naches, WA

0745 was the time Donna & I scheduled to meet Hootchkins (Glenn) & ExpressTowAaron @ the Enumclaw Safeway. Donna & I were uncharacteristically late by 20 minutes...Glenn was thoughtful enough to PM me his number the evening before, so I could grovel...

After fueling up & paying rent on the morning's coffee at Mac's, and...killing 10 precious minutes exchanging pleasantries with some local seniors that were enamored with The Wallinator and Theodore (Wally & the Beaver/our dogs...) that included giving them some snacks, that the friendly seniors had to retrieve from their car, which must have been a mile away...we finally made it to the Safeway Gas Station to top off the tank and ultimately introduce ourselves to Glenn.



Glenn had been waiting patiently for probably 45 minutes...thank you Glenn. I/we genuinely apologize for being late and making you wait...



We finally hit the road at about 0820. Our two Jeep caravan was moving at oh...I'd say 15-20 mph behind a string of cars being held up by a crane...we needed to find the campground & meet up with everyone by 10:00 am...



The whole morning was going this way...you know, when you're all amped up about doing something, or going somewhere and you're not in hurry, but, sort of on a mission, yeah? You know what I'm saying here? And then all these things demand your attention, or get in your way or some how nibble away at your serenity. Well, this was one of those mornings...

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:36 PM  
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That crane pulled off the road to let the mile of cars around him. We were about 10 miles back...yes, that's an exaggeration...you know what I'm saying. As we headed towards Greenwater, a few of the obstacles...uh, I mean cars...left the roadway for heaven only knows where...just our of our way. Another one or two left the convoy at Greenwater.



From there, the drive up to the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort provided us with several opportunities to show of them ponies under my hood...okay, another exaggeration...nonetheless, my I-6, 6spd geared at 307 on 33's managed to muster up enough "oomph" to pass a few cars and end up in the front of the pack! Glenn kept up with me, too...or maybe he was pushing me a bit, I can't recall... Rotflmao



We crested Chinook Pass where them ponies under my hood, complemented by a tail wind & a downhill run of dozens of miles, I was able to pull 5th gear! Yeah, the RaggedOleLady was compressed into her seat! She had both dogs, suffering a bit of imagined hypothermia in the open rear of my heep, on her lap...



After crossing the American River for the 3td or 4th time we finally came upon the left turn I knew was coming, FS19/Little Naches which took us to FS1902 and over the bridge. about this time I got on the CB hoping to catch MCE Mike or Jason. As luck would have it, I got them on the CB about the time I passed their campsite... "You just passed us!" Came over the CB...

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:38 PM  
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"What?" How could that be...we haven't got to Long Meadow(s) yet...but it was true...so we made a u-turn and met up with Mike, Jason, Kraski & his pretty lady friend. within minutes PepCsLj blew in with the wind...turns out the rest of the group was around the corner at a different site. soon we were all in one spot and ready to hit the trails!



We hit the approach to the Kaner Trail and all did our pre-trail stuff. Some quicker than others! The conditions were dry, and the trails would never be this easy again...sort of a disappointment, sort of not. I mean, for me it was a good thing because, though I'd been on this trail a few times before, I knew it to have some gnarly spots, and my confidence in my skills was still lacking, though I the confidence I have in my mildly built heep was a notch or two stronger.



The first hill climb, which was a bit un-nerving my first time up, proved to be nothing of consequence on this dry, Saturday morning. The mosquito's were still asleep, the sun was out and it was a great day to be wheelin' up there!



The dust cloud you see at the top of this hill climb was about the extent of the exposure anyone behind digger 5, would see! He walked over, around or through anything in his path at a brisk pace!

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:38 PM  
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I pity those of you that found yourself behind me. You probably didn't have to eat much dust though! Yes, I tend to drive slow on the trail. I hide behind the "finesse'" thing, but, the fact is I like to go at a slower pace than most. I like to take the opportunities to "walk a log", or take the tighter line between some trees. You know, foolin' about...



Digger isn't of the same mind! With 20+ years of wheelin' and building his rigs under his belt, I wonder if he forgot how fun it was to learn it all! Oh, don't get me wrong, it was an honor to be in a group with someone as experienced and knowledgeable about all things Jeep as him, but I never got to see his methods of over coming obstacles. I really enjoy watching those of you who are very experienced, and learning from what I see.



Okay, copying you! "Monkey see, monkey do" sort of a thing...while our individual political leaning's and view of the world may differ tremendously, I can't tell you how much pleasure it gives me to wheel with all you guys! And watching you is half the fun. Hard to do in a cloud of dust!



Brisk pace or not, I wouldn't have missed the opportunity for anything!

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:39 PM  
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The MCE boys were there, Mike & Jason or Jason & Mike...in case there's a feud as to who is supposed to get top billing... Rotflmao



Kraski, (new to me) was there with his Modern Classic Enterprises logo proudly posted on the hood of his heep! Very capable heep, too, I might add...and the skills to coax it into it's mechanical magic...



Rich (PepCsLj) was there in his Yellow Rubi! always a pleasure to be in Rich's company on a wheeling trip...got himself a shiny new camera, too. I like the quality of your pictures, Rich! Now I'm envious of your heep AND your camera...



Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke....of Earl, Duke, Duke, Duke...of Earl, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl, Duke Duke...a.k.a. Chad, a.k.a. DukeGnarly was there, too. I first had the pleasure of meeting and wheeling with Duke at Tahuya a dew weeks back, when I followed his lead up the little rock climb there at the end of the tank traps. A photo from that day has now become my avatar...it was a great day! My maiden voyage being locked front and rear, that day...never forget it!

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:40 PM  
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Some weeks later DukeGnarly, RBXj & I all ran around like three blind mice trying to find the start of the Naches Trail off FS70...that turned out to be a memorable day, too...



That's HootchKin's there on the left with the camera. Got to ask, your girlfriend give you that moniker? :smile: You guys got a name for it? "Hootchkins", eh? Yeah...yeah... :smile:



CmyJeep was there, too. A.k.a."Clinton", he's a capable guy with a capable rig, and he too, is always a pleasure to wheel with. Indeed, the last time I was out with him was at the Kaner Trail. He took the line on the left up Aardvark Hill, but I...took the line on the right that day. After taking the easy path/line that day, I was disappointed in myself. My memory was rerunning clips of Clinton taking that line to the left as I lamented with regrets. Well, today Hootchkins was taking the line to the right, and I was taking the line to the left!



Even though my memory is as fuzzy as the picture above, the "feeling's" of that day are much, more, clearly embedded...

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:40 PM  
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As Clinton approached that big-ole-root about half way up the climb, I recalled the effort it required of him the last time, and wondered how he'd do this time.



With the abandon of a sailor on shore leave in some far away place, he attacked that hill climb again. He made easy work of it, too.



That's Digger up there on the right. He was already up there...show off... :smile:



As Clinton came up to that root he just got on it a bit...

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:41 PM  
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In a split second he was over...



No one really had any trouble with it that day, including me. I should add that Digger gave me a few helpful hints that worked like a charm...thanks Scot!



Rich at the bottom of Aardvark...



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Old 08-30-2010, 04:42 PM  
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A cloud of dust as he gives it a bit of a bump...



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Old 08-30-2010, 04:42 PM  
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Glenn, in his jK open/open took the line to the right. He'd made it up, over and through everything so far, no reason to think he'd have any difficulty with this climb, and he didn't...okay, take the left line next time? :smile:





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